tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN September 20, 2012 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT
by multiple organizations, including "the washington post" fact checker, and indeed poe plitty fact, a nonpartisan part of the tampa bay times as concluded that, quote, by granting waivers to states, the obama administration is seeking to make welfare to work efforts more successful not end them, end quote. despite that, we are going to bring up a bill today to cure something that does not exist. and it is astounding that at a time when we could be voting on jobs bill, the republicans have chosen to block an obama administration proposal that would help states put more people back to work and indeed has been requested by those state governors. . even as we consider the bills, the majority refuses to also consider legislation to address serious national crises. yesterday at a meeting of the rules committee they brought five amendments that would
address those issues. first they blocked an amendment by representative boswell to vote on the bipartisan senate farm bill. they had another chance yesterday to bring the farm bill up before we all go home. and then they blocked an amendment by representative moore to re-authorize the violence against women act which expires in days, a bipartisan bill if there ever was one, i was one of the co-authors of the bill, that's been routinely authorized by both parties until this year. finally they blocked amendments by my colleagues, representatives levin, connally and blumenauer, to pass a tax cut for the middle class to extend the production tax credit for renewable energy producers, wind energy, and to consider legislation to address the financial crisis facing the postal service. now the majority was given the chance to bring all these proposals to the floor and walk
aid way and went forward with the messages before us today so we will pass today four bills that have been passed previously. i asked my colleagues in the majority, which is more important, to provide relief to the drought-stricken farmers or voting to deny climate change? which is more important, passing a symbolic resolution based upon a false premise of providing tax cuts to the middle class? which is more important, passing self-proclaimed messaging dock youths or working together to provide for millions of americans in need? if you asked a farmer in a remote county in new york whether they'd have congress pass a dead on arrival messaging bill or a farm bill, i know, and you know, what they would choose. in closing, what we are considering today is a result of choices made by the majority, a choice to pursue an extreme and partisan agenda they knew would never become law. in so doing we have failed to provide results for the
american people and led to the least productive congress in the history of our nation. i urge my colleagues to reconsider choices that have been brought here today and the legislation we are about to consider. in the process i hope we can finally end the political game and return the responsibility of governing. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time is reserved. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognize. mr. bishop: i hope you'll forgive me if i try to limit myself to what is actually in the resolutions and the bills that we are presenting today as far as the rules committee is concerned. there is, though, a common thread that runs through the two resolutions that happen to be here. it deals with the definition of what is administrative and what is legislative. and even if the current administration seems to have a problem in making that definition of what is administrative, we in congress
need to and clearly understand what is our legislative responsibility. our good friend louie gohmert from texas always says that he who fails to learn theless -- he who learns the lessons of history will find some other way to screw it up. that's probably true. and i don't want to sound like an old history teacher, but i am, so i want to say that there are some things we in congress should be doing to learn from our past history. john paige, in 1791, a congressman from virginia, was on the house floor when it was determined whether the -- when the house was debating whether they stuck around to determine where postal routes should be. people wanted to go and more importantly the people trusted the president. the question is, why don't we just let the president do it all? it was john paige who stood up and said, may we move to adjourn and leave all decisions
to the sole consideration of the president. he shamed the congress into doing their job, not allowing the president to -- the executive branch to do everything by fiat. we put in language like the secretary of the treasury, will be able to purchase troubled assets on such terms and conditions as are determined by the secretary or authorize any purchase on which the secretary determines promotes financial market stability or the secretary's authorized to take such action as the secretary deems necessary to carry out all authorities in this particular act. that is legislative authority that we passed on to the executive branch. that was a tragic mistake. we should not incorporate that tragic mistake wider now by simply allowing the executive branch to take on responsibilities and authorities on their own free will and volition. we have the same situation once again in the history of this country, we had a president of
the united states who wrote a book about congress without ever visiting congress itself. who said what the founding fathers realize, and which their effort to have vertical separation of power between state and national government, what we call federalism and horizontal separation of powers between the three branch, which we call the separation of powers and every public school student is taught that, they were put in there so that individual liberty, which i always say is individual choices in running their life, would be protected against the concentration of pow for the one branch or another. this former president of the united states called this separation of powers political witchcraft. he said it was wrong to try and separate powers, perplexingly subdivided and distributed to to be hunted down in far away corners.
this president said, the president should speak for the government this other president coming back later increased the role and power of the executive branch under the concept the president is the president of the whole people and therefore has the ability to transcend separation of powers. his effort to improve democracy was to eliminate democracy and instead ensure decisions were not made by the people or voice or representatives of the people but by experts. expert whorps serving in the administrative branches. we, you like that concept, you call it the administrative state. if you don't, we call it nanny government. nonetheless, that was the concept. one of the other presidents that came shortly before him said there will be little permanent good that will be done by any party if we fail to regard the states as anything other than a convenient unit for local government. he said there's no harm that comes by concentrating power in the hands of one individual.
he also said that he would not be content with keeping his talents undamaged in a napkin. that's perhaps why the speaker of the house at the time said he had no more use for the constitution than a tomcat has for a marriage license. the bottom line of what happened in the history is that all of a sudden, we found that the founding fathers who believed in people and believed in the legislative branch, listening to john locke who said you cannot transfer the power of the legislature to another branch, those type of people were decided at that particular time that the people should not be running their own affairs, the government experts should be making that policy. so to be honest, when we're talking about the first resolution, the deals with tanf, the welfare issue, i don't care if the waiver is the greatest thing since sliced bread, it is still extra constitutional and it should not be used, an congress should not allow it to take away what is the role of congress and
only congress. to establish these issues and set these boundaries. in the other bill that we're talking about, we're talking about prohibiting future actions by entities, in this case, specifically the e. pamplet, which would destroy jobs, increase the cost of utilities that would cost greater costs of lighting homes and heating homes, especially for those who have the least ability to do so. congress men and congress women must stand up and insist they create these standards and options not be made by executive fiat. that's the very purpose of why we are here. the first president of to whom i referred ended up with a legacy of many programs implemented which we still today find controversial. he was labeled by historians as an arrogant president at that time who refused to talk to congress. and because of that, he lost some of his last, most precious program in an effort to try and
go around congress rather than working with congress. now mr. speaker, that's why these -- this resolution is before us and why these two separate bills are here. both of them attempt to set the record straight. and learn that it is congress' responsibility to set the rules and the guidelines. it is not an administrative prerogative. we as congress need to step forward and say, we are the ones who do this. we should not allow it to be done by anyone else regardless of why it's being done or the merits of why it's being done. it's our job. we should learn from history. we should be more like john paige and try to make sure that congress does these types of issues and makes these types of decisions. and less like presidents later on owho thought the president speaks for everybody and the president has every right to transcend separation of powers and do it for himself. that's the basis of these two
bills. that's the important issue. we should learn the lesson of history. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: i'm pleased to yield five minutes to the the gentlelady from -- to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. marquis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. markey: thank you -- i thank the gentlelady. republicans are saying there's a war on coal. they even name this bill the end the war on coal act. but the only battle coal is losing is in the free market. to natural gas. to wind. to solar. just four years ago, coal generated 51% of our electricity. now it is down to 35% of our electricity. have the lights gone off? no. and that's because coal has
been replaced in the free market by natural gas. which has risen from 21% to 30%. of all electrical generation in our country. and by the way, the same thing is true for wind. wind has gone from 1% of electrical generation to 4% of electrical generation. that's your answer. that's what's happening. the marketplace has moved to natural gas, another fossil fuel, by the way, and wind. why have they done so? natural gas is cheaper than coal. it's more plentiful now because of fracking technologies. and the market has moved. what is happening? what is happening is that natural gas prices have gone down 66% in the last four years. can i say that again? natural gas prices have gone down 66% in the last four years. that's the shift from coal over to natural gas. that's the arithmetic.
your a -- you're a consumer, you see a product, it does the same thing as another product and dropped 66% in price. the arithmetic says i go and get that product, if it says my home is heated and it goes on. it's just arithmetic. coal is losing to natural gas. when the republicans say there is a war on coal, well new york a market sense, yes, there is a war. in the same sense that when we started carrying blackberries, it was a war on the black rotary dial phones. in the same sense that when we started using macs and p.c.'s, it was a war on typewriters, in the same sense that the horseless carolina was a war on horses. in the same sense that refrigerators were a war on salted meats. in the same sense that a telegraph was a war on carrier byons. these aren't wars, it's innovation.
it's natural gas versus coal. all we're saying as democrats is, let the free market work. you're here saying, no, protectionism. protectionism against the natural gas industry winning this battle in the marketplace. by the way, natural gas is also winning the battle in the marketplace against home heating oil. tens of thousands of people are shifting over from home heating oil to natural gas. why? it's cheaper. same thing is true in the production of petrochemicals and forget riders. industries are moving away from oil as the component part of moving over to natural gas. why is that? it is cheaper. across the board. do you understand this, republicans? it's arithmetic. it's simple. it's easy to understand. it's not the policies of the obama administration. if you want to blame someone, blame adam smith for ruthless darwinian paranoia inducing
markets where they move toward a product that's cheaper and more available here in the united states. instead, you know, this is a republican congress which has 302 anti-environmental votes they have cast in just a year and eight months. 302 anti-environmental votes. that's what they're all about this whole thing is an excuse to lower pollution coming from coal that daniels the health of children, the health of our environment across our country. they're just losing a battle to natural gas in the marketplace. they get an f on medicare in this congress, f on tax breaks, f on jobs, f on urgent priorities, f on women and an f on environment. it's just an excuse. because they don't like what's going on in the marketplace. and it's a shame. because they tout themselves as that party. simultaneously you know what they do? they're killing the wind tax break. killing it. because it's up to 4%
electricity an keeping the exact same amount in for exxonmobil and the oil companies to produce oil. how can you call that a plan of all of the above? all of this kills the -- tilts the playing field, tilts the competition in the marketplace, you can't give tax breaks to oil and take them away from wind and say you're all of the above you can't say we want to tilt the playing field toward coal when natural gas is winning in the marketplace and say we're in favor of all of the above. you are not. you are not. ladies and gentlemen, i ask for a no vote on this rule, a no vote on these bills as they come to the floor of the house. it is anti-market policy on steroids as they bring it up here on the house floor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: fracking has made gas so plentiful and useful to this country. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. lamborn. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from colorado is recognized for two minutes. mr. lamborn: i thank the gentleman from utah and thank you, mr. speaker. the rule we're considering today is very simple, it's a bill that takes coal and ensures that some of the highest paid family wage jobs in the country are saved. i want to focus on title 1 of h.r. 3409 that limits the authority of the secretary of the interior to issue new burdensome regulations until the end of 2013. this title would put a short time-out on the recklessly rushed rulemaking by the administration that has resulted in millions of wasted dollars and confusion by all parties regarding the management of coal under the office of surface mining. the administration is attempting to compress what ordinarily would take 36 months into 15 months. when news got out how many jobs would be lost, the administration fired the
independent contractor who provided the analysis. the administration's own analysis is that 7,000 direct mining jobs would be lost and an additional 29,000 people would fall below the poverty level in the app lashian basin a-- appalachian basin alone. how in the world can a president who gives lip service to creating jobs allows his bureaucrats to kill jobs in coal states? this bill will simply give o.s.m. a time-out so they can hear and address the concerns raised by the cooperating agencies, coal mining states and tribes and citizens. it allows states to read the hundreds of pages of materials in the months rather than days. the current rulemaking by o.s.m. is an out-of-control process with no regard for mine workers and their families who depend on these jobs. i urge my colleagues to support the resolution and the johnson bill. thank you, mr. speaker, and i
yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm glad to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from connecticut, ms. delauro. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from connecticut is recognized for two minutes. ms. delauro: mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to this political resolution that aims to wrongly characterize the administration's position on temporary assistance to needy family. this is a waste of our time. the purpose of the administration's waiver proposal is to allow states to test alternative and innovative strategies that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families. as the department of health and human services have said repeatedly, waivers will only be approved if a state can prove there is an effective transition from welfare to work. in essence, that they are putting more people to work. is the majority now against
putting people to work? or are they against states' rights? if so they may want to tell their presidential candidate in -- candidate. in 2005, their presidential candidate and others wrote a letter to saying flexibility to their tanf program, end quote. this is what the administration's proposal does. for two years now, instead of working with us to create jobs, instead of passing middle-class tax cuts, instead of passing the violence against women act, instead of passing responsible deficit reduction and to help us to try to get the economy moving again, the urgent priorities that we should be working on right now, this majority has continually put
forward politically motivated resolutions. you know, i will just say to you that the american people cannot afford a do-nothing republican congress that refuses to act on issues critical to the middle class, critical to small businesses, critical to farmers, critical to women. they need to expect better leadership from us. i urge my colleagues to oppose this resolution. we need to get work done, not politically motivated resolutions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the chairman of the science committee, the gentleman from texas, mr. hall. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. hall: and i thank you and i rise in strong support of the rule and h.r. 3409, the stop the war on coal act. this may sound a little strange to a guy from an oil and gas state, but we have an awful lot of coal. this bill takes us a number of
simple, commonsense and long overdue steps to rein in the obama administration's out-of-control e.p.a., which is waging all-out war on american energy and coal is at the heart of that war. anyone who fails to believe such a war exists should speak to the people of mount pleasant, texas, in my congressional district. e.p.a.'s cross-state air pollution rule threatens 500 jobs at two coal fired power plants in mount pleasant. fortunately, the courts threw out this ruling in august after finding that e.p.a. went well beyond the law in its efforts to regulate coal out of existence. we know e.p.a. will go back to the drawing board. h.r. 3409 adds needed protections for any future proposal, and in doing so protects jobs, not only in my state, but in coal producing states and coal using states all around the country. the bill also blocks future efforts to attack coal through
other regulations. most notably, the e.p.a.'s effort to enact economywide greenhouse gas emissions. it would raise the cost of energy for all americans. they should never see the light of day. i will mention my support for two amendments made in order under this rule. it will be offered by members of the science, space and technology committee, which i chair. these amendments address serious problems with e.p.a. science that the committee highlighted during the 112th congress. specifically congressman dan benishek's amendment which requires an analysis to evaluate the potential negative health effects of regulations. energy and environment subcommittee, andy harris' amendment would have a peer reviewed study and made publicly available. these amendments reinforce and
strengthen the transparency and openness provisions in h.r. 3409. i urge members to support these amendments, the rule and the underlying bill as well, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. doggett. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. doggett: thank you. as one who believes in the value of work, i voted for the 1996 law to transform welfare to workfare, and now as the ranking democrat on the subcommittee overseeing this law, i want to strengthen reform and ensure that every able bodied american who can work is working. you know, people, like mitt romney's father, who long ago was on a form of welfare himself before he became wealthy, those are the kind of people that should be working.
unfortunately, republicans talk work for everyone else, but when it comes to doing the work here in congress, well, they don't quite measure up to it. just like the expired federal education law, they've been in power here for over 20 months and we wouldn't need any changes or waivers in the law if they had done their job to renew workfare. the real question here is whether or not we emphasize work but how, how we achieve the most effective ways to get more people working. this administration has simply responded to republican governors and some democrats who are seeking more flexibility and less bureaucratic paperwork, who sought better ways to get more people working. even the republican staff director who wrote the original 1996 reform law and who recently surveyed 42 state tanf
directors says that these republican attacks are exaggerated. so why, why in the world would republicans be here today when there is so much other work that this congress has failed to do be here presenting what is really an anti-work resolution masquerading as pro-work? well, i think it's because particularly during this week such a very difficult and troubling week for mitt romney, they're a little desperate. they think they can hoodwink enough americans to turn on their neighbors by falsely dividing us, dividing us between makers and takers, between manufacturers and moochers, between producers and pair sites. that is not america. whenever they bump into an inconvenient fact, like what actually is involved in this legislation, they just ignore
it. they have made this congress largely a fact-free zone. when confronted, they hold up those signs that say believe. they left the word off. it really should say make believe, because that's what's at stake now. they bring up on all aspects of this measure, fantasy is a mighty poor way to govern america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: i am pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for two minutes. mr. deutch: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to the rule and the underlying bill, the polluters bill of rights. i understand that my republican friends are trying to improve
the coal industry's outlook and i imagine that most industries would benefit if congress simply eliminated their obligation to help keep the public safe. we hear a lot about the immorality of leaving our chirp with mountains of debt and i -- children with mountains of debt and i completely agree with that. i support measures that responsibly reduce the debt. but bills like this one are piling another form of debt on our children. we are leaving them to deal with the consequences of letting coal companies pollute the air that our children breathe and the water that they drink. our failure to take comprehensive action on global climate change is already profoundly immoral. it is a disgrace that we refuse to sacrifice on behalf of our grandchildren. i fail to understand the perverse notion that my colleagues on the other side share that somehow, somehow
global climate change is a laughable matter that we can sweep under the rug. how many more millions of tons of greenhouse gases will my republican colleagues like in our atmosphere before they're concerned? how much less polar ice, how many more cases of preventable cancer should american children develop? i offered an amendment to slow down the bill's assaults on environmental laws until science could verify what this congress seeks to accomplish would not increase cases of preventable cancer among our most vulnerable -- children, seniors and those with chronic conditions. regrettably, the house will not even have a chance to vote. it must be too inconvenient for my colleagues to have to tell their constituents that they value these coal companies above sick children. well, i got news for my colleagues. ignoring the consequences of our actions does not make them go away. these rules are in place
because the american people demand safe air and water. they expect the electricity that powers their home is not produced in a way that promotes tumors in their loved ones. we need to have a secure economic future in this nation. that means investing in clean energy industries instead of catering to favorite industries. passing this bill is the worst thing we can do. i urge my colleagues to reject the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: reserves. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, we will -- we have no further requests for time except one more and we want to defeat the previous question. and i'm going to offer an amendment which proposes that congress will not adjourn until the president signs the middle-class tax cut into law. additionally, i want to make nrd an amendment to extend the
renewable energy tax credits. these tax credits are directly responsible for create manager jobs. we can't afford to leave town without extending them. to discuss our proposal, i am pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from iowa, mr. boswell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. boswell: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. boswell: today is thursday, september 20, tomorrow, i understand, the house is set to adjourn until after the election. tomorrow the house is set to leave town without finishishing the work the american people sent us here to do. i have no objection to increasing domestic energy production and i think an all of the above approach is a rational approach to take. however, i rise against this rule, i rise in opposition to the rule because two amendments
i have offered to the bill were not made in order by the rule committees and the amendments i offered are on substantive policy that my colleagues are calling for and i'm here to represent my constituents and i might add others across the nation. our amendment would extend the wind production tax credit, wind energy plays a significant role in electricity generation in the state of iowa and many other states, plus about 20% and the manufacturing of wind turbine components in iowa has brought high tech jobs to my district. the fact that the house is set to adjourn until the election while this industry is being forced to lay off workers because of congress' inaction is shameful, it's something we should not do. yesterday it was announced we would be laying off 400 and more to come. another amendment i offer would have athroid house to finally, finally vote on a farm bill but once again the republican leadership of this house stopped the house from voting on a farm bill. let me say that again, the
house republican leadership is preventing this house from working its will on the farm bill. mr. speaker, apparently some house republicans believe standing up for our farmers and ranchers across our can'try is not the work of the house. this is a disgrace. the farm bill is creating uncertainty that the house republicans so often decry. this will only get more complicated as the house continues to kick the can down the road. once again, i rise in opposition to this rule and i call on my colleagues to defeat the previous question so we can amend the rule and proceed to debate that will result in the house actually doing the work our constituents sent us here to do and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. speaker. i have some empathy for the gentleman from iowa but i will
have to say, one of the reasons that those amendments were not made in order was, quite frankly, because both of them were nongermane to the base bill. and that becomes a concept. one of the reasons that ms. slaughter speaks on wishing to stay here until we pass middle class tax cuts, i think i can approve of that. because actually when we considered h.r. 8, rules committee took an extraordinary step of waiving rules of the house, including cut-go and other budget-related points of order so an amendment could be given by mr. levin and have an opportunity to present that amendment. that amendment was debated and it was rejected on a bipartisan vote on the house in august. and unlike the amendment, then h.r. 8 passed the house with a bipartisan vote. which means the house has voted for a middle class tax cut. we have done our duty. it is one of the myriad of bills that is sitting over on the senate side waiting for them to do something so we can
proceed to a conference committee. i actually approve of what the gentlelady from new york was saying because basically we've done it and we did it on august 1. with that, i reserve the plans of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i do have a late entry. i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. andrews. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. andrews: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. andrews: i thank my friend for yielding. 102 days from today, every american who pays income taxes will face a substantial tax increase. 102 days from now the estate plans of small business people will be blown asunder because of the changes in the tax code that will automatically occur. 102 days from now workers at
defense plants, medical research institutions, other very important functions in our country will lose their jobs because of an across the board spending cut called a sequester. the response of the majority to this looming problem is to leave town. now, i must confess, given the majority's propensity to end the medicare guarantee and provide tax cuts to millionaires, perhaps them leaving town has a certain appeal. but under these circumstances, where there is a significant problem in our country, where farmers all across the country have no idea what -- under what rules they will be running their farms and their businesses because a farm bill that received broad support from democrats and republicans on the agriculture committee has not made its way to the floor. in light of all this trouble
amidst all the stress of the american economy, the plan for the majority is to leave town tomorrow until after the election. this is irresponsible in two ways. first, i think we have a duty to act before the election so the voters of this country can assess where we stand and who they want to have represent them in the years ahead. and second, the problems of american families will not be put on hold in the six or seven weeks we spend in our districts politicking. then we'll come back, many people will be in a lame duck status where they're not coming back, we'll compress all of this into the last five or six weeks. this is not the proper way to legislate or govern our affairs. i would urge members to oppose the previous question which has the effect of putting on the
floor legislation that would guarantee a tax cut, tax relief for middle class people, as well as the creation of jobs in our country because of clean energy. you can agree or disagree with those propositions but i don't think any of us disagrees with the proposition that in the face of these very real crises for the american people, we're just getting on the plane, getting on the bus, getting on a train and leaving town. it's the wrong thing to do. we should oppose the previous question and vote no. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: may i inquire if my colleague has other requests for time? mr. bishop: i actually don't think i have any other speakers. i may be suprised in the next few minutes. ms. slaughter: it happens. mr. bishop: it happens. ms. slaughter: then i'm prepared to close. today i sincerely regret we are considering legislation that
has no chance of becoming law. our constituents sent us here with the expectation we'd work together and deliver results. that doesn't mean that they expect us to abandon all our principles but it does mean that while we engage in fierce debate, we do so in a spirit of collaboration. and at the end of the day, we come together to produce bipartisan legislation that will address the major issues facing our country. for the last two years, the majority has actively avoided such bipartisan legislating and as a result we face a mounting number of issues that demand our attention. sadly, none of those pass pressing issues are addressed in today's bills and i urge my colleagues to oppose today's rule and the underlying legislation. it is time we put aside political gains and address the pressing national issues facing this country. i urge my colleagues to vote no on the previous question and to defeat the previous question
and i urge a no vote on the rule and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: mr. speaker, in our discussion of this particular rule today we have, as often times is the case, wandered far and wide. i would point out to one of the speakers who was just up there that we should stay here doing the sequestration act, dealing with the sequestration issue, the house did on may 10, we passed the sequestration act. it's waiting in the senate. we did the middle class tax cut well, did that in august, it's over waiting on the senate to do something. we have issues that are significant in the two that are before us. if we're talking about welfare, in some particular way, weather the rule -- whether the rule that was made coming out of the executive branch was appropriate or not, we could go
back an say why it was done. it is true the president in 1997 and once again in 1998 said he would not have supported the legislation that created the system that we have . it's also true that in "the washington post" editorial, they made comments that said the obama administration is waiving the federal requirement that ensures a portion of able-bodied tanf recipients must engage in work activities. if this is not getting welfare reform, it's difficult to imagine what would be. even if the substance of that was inaccurate, the fact that it was done by regulation, by rule making coming from the administrative branch, puts us in suspect category. rules should not be establishing what is our priority, it should be laws from this body. if you want to change it if you want to do waivers, it should be coming from this particular body. the other half of it deals with
coal. this is a nation with the largest coal reserves in the world. we have 500 years of potential electricity at cheap rates coming from coal. a coal plant today is as much as 99% cleaner than one built 40 years ago. and yet rules and regulations that have been promulgated or are being threatened to promulgate impede the ability of building new plants. there is no valid reason why american coil cole industry should be suffering at the hands of overse louse washington regulators or why workers are being laid off in the midwest in virginia, in pennsylvania, ohio, west virginia and other places, although today it was again announced that there will be 1,200 coal mining jobs that will be eliminated across central appalachia by one company. and once again, their emphasis is the unfair regulations taking place. it is true that 349 is cobbled together with other bills that passed this body but each of
those were passed on a bipartisan vote. with anywhere between 16 and 37 democrats on the bill joining with republicans to pass those. when put together in a package with 3409 presents a good package to make sure we are in favor of cheap energy, energy that will drive and build our economy and provide jobs for those who need those particular jobs. i went historically earlier because i wanted to say we have faced these types of situations in the past and the question was, should the president make the rules and regulations or should congress pass legislation. the president to whom i referred ended his tenure in a somewhat bitter way refusing to work with congress, instead, trying to go around congress which produced at that time a historic deadlock between the presidency and the congress. this is a nation of laws, laws are made here. it's not a nation of rules.
and if the rules and regulations are going to have the effect on the future and going to have an effect on the american people, they should not be done by executive fiat, whether you like them or not they should not be done in that manner, it should be done here legislatively. that's the purpose of both of these issues tied together in this rule. that's the thread that comes together, whether or not we actually believe congress should be doing the job of creating the standards and rules or we're willing to simply abrogate our responsibility, our power, our options to some other body. i would hope that as congress we would be careful and considerate about what our responsibility is and we would take very seriously any encroachment on the role of law that is given to us by the constitution. it was the vision of the founding fathers that this should be the body that makes those decisions, not the executive branch. this is a good bill. these are good bills.
and this is a fair rule. we haven't even talked about the amendments made in order but they do cover, in fact, we did have one statement about the amendments not made in order and i half wish, the member is no longer here but his issue of concern is covered in another amendment that is made in order and will be covered in discussion on this floor. it's a fair rule. it will have vigorous debate and there are two good bills that would be brought before this body that i hope sincerely pass. i do urge their adoption and i sincerely urge the adoption of this rule that will move us forward and with that, i yield back the balance of my time and move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, the chair will reduce to five minutes the minimum tile for any electronic vote on the
question of adoption. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
those opposed, no. the ayes have it. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 233 and the nays are 182. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the chair lays before the house an enrolled bill. the clerk: senate 3 45, an act to extend by three years the authorization of the eb-5 regional center program, the everify program, the special immigration nonreligious worker program and the conrad state visa waiver program. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 788, i call up
the resolution h.j.res. 118, providing for congressional disapproval of the administration's july 12, 2012, waiver of welfare work requirements and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the joint resolution. the clerk: union calendar number 489, house joint resolution 118, joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, united states code, of the rule submitted by the office of family assistance of the administration for children and families of the department of health and human services relating to waiver and expenditure authority under section 1115 of the social security act, 42 united states code 1315, with respect to the temporary assistance for needy families program. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 788, the joint resolution shall be considered as read. debate shall not exceed one hour with 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking members of
the committee on ways and means and 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member on the committee on education and the work force. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, the gentleman from minnesota, mr. kleine, and the gentleman from california, mr. george miller, each will control 15 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. camp: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on h.j.res. 118. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. camp: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. camp: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.j.res. 118, a resolution to disapprove of the health and human services rule waiving the work requirements for tanf cash welfare program. the requirement that 50% of the states welfare caseload work or pre-- the requirement that 50% of the states' welfare caseload work or prepare for work was a central part of the bipartisan
1996 welfare reform signed into law by president clinton. those reforms were overwhelmingly successful in reducing welfare dependency and poverty while increasing work and earnings. unfortunately, president obama said that he would have opposed such reforms had he been in congress at that time. and so on july 12 of this year -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. the house will be in order. members, please remove your conversations from the floor. the gentleman from michigan. mr. camp: thank you, mr. speaker. so on july 12 of this year, the obama administration issued an information memorandum to waive the welfare work requirement in a blatant and unlawful end run around the current congress. the administration's action is unlawful on two fronts. first, the welfare work requirements are contained in a section of the social security act, section 407, that may mott be waived, according to that
law. second -- may not be waived, according to that law. second, the government accountability office determined that the administration's information memorandum qualifies as a rule and therefore should have been officially submitted to the congress for review before being issued. it was not. and just yesterday, g.a.o. released another report that found that h.h.s. has never before issued any tanf waivers in the history of the program. including involving the tanf work requirements. more importantly, they found that when previous h.h.s. secretaries were asked about the possibility of waiving work requirements, h.h.s. responded that, and i quote, the department does not have authority to waive any of these provisions, end quote. that was the conclusion of the clinton administration, the bush administration and at least to date the obama administration. when it comes to welfare work requirements, i guess we could say president obama was against them before he was before them before he was against them. unfortunately for the president, the american people do not agree with his original and most recent position on
this issue. a recent survey shows that 83% support a work requirement as a condition for receiving welfare. and for good reason. the work requirement and other 1996 reforms are responsible for increasing employment of single mothers by 15% from 1996 to 2000 and decreasing welfare caseloads by 57% over the last decade and a half. but inexplicablely, these results don't sit well with the -- inexplicably, these results don't sit well with the obama administration. that's why we brought this resolution to the floor today. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to preserve this successful welfare work requirement and join me in passing this resolution and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. mr. levin: i yield myself three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. levin: this bill has one purpose, to provide a fig leaf of credibility for a political
attack ak -- ad that has no credibility whatsoever. every independent fact checker has said the attack ad on the president is false. governor romney's claiming that president obama is eliminating work requirements for welfare recipients has been called, and i quote, a pants on fire lie, and given four pinocchios for dishonesty. the republican staffer, ron haskins, who helped draft the 1996 welfare law, says the charge is baseless. i quote, the idea that the administration is going to overturn welfare reform is ridiculous. end of quote. . here are the facts. any demonstration project allowed under the guidance would have to be designed to increase the employment of tanf recipients, would be subject to
rigorous evaluation, and would be terminated if it fails to meet employment goals. the whole administration effort is about regarding more work not less as eloquently stated by president clinton who led efforts at welfare. -- welfare reform. thed administration heard from state officials they are allowed to force more on options and rest on paperwork, they could put more people to work. including republican governors who asked for this, prove it. the majority states that they do not have the authority to provide waivers. but that's not the conclusion reached by the nonpartisan c.r.s. c.r.s. said the current waiver initiative is, i quote, consistent with prior practice. and now we have heard republicans say the tanf waivers have never been provided before now, even when requested. here's what the g.a.o. said
about past requests, i quote, states were not asking for waivers to test new approaches through experimental or demonstration projects which would be necessary in order to get a waiver under section 1115, end of quote. in other words, in the past states weren't asking for the waivers that allowed to provide under the law and is now offering at the end of the day this debate isn't about process or even policy, it's about politics. pure politics. indeed, impure politics. this is the same republican party that will passed their own much broader versions of welfare waivers in 2002, 2003, and 2005. let me read you what the congressional research service said about those, i quote, the legislation would have had the effect of allowing tanf work
participation standards to be waived, end quote. and, yes, i give myself an additional 30 seconds. and guess who voted three times for the waiver of the work participation requirement in tanf? not only the chairman of ways and means, but the chairman of the budget committee and governor romney's running mate, paul ryan. we should be debating today issues that matter, that matter in terms of acting today, a credible jobs plan. instead, house republicans who are doing nothing on these issues are being something totally political. a disservice to this great institution. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. mr. camp: i yield myself 30 seconds. i will just say that the issue that he refers to as actually
to extend the work retirement -- requirement to other programs which would have increased the work requirements. let me just say i'm glad my friend brought up the fact because "the washington post" fact checker confirms that calling the democrats' claims of increasing work a stretch and stating that it's not clear at, quote, the net result is that more people on welfare will end up working and actually gave the quote eloquent speech by president clinton, my friend's reference, two pinocchios for saying it would increase work by 20%. i reserve the balance of my time. at this time i yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from minnesota, a member of the ways and means committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized for two minutes. >> i thank the chairman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.j. resolution 118. this is a resolution that will protect welfare work retirements from executive overreach ensuring that welfare recipients must continue to work in order to qualify for benefits. the chairman of the human resources subcommittee, i want to talk real quickly how this rulings accomplishes these
simple objectives. first the resolution simply affirms congressional authority over welfare programs by invalidating the overreach of the rule, back in july, h.h.s. unilaterally granted itself the authority to rewrite the work requirements claiming that they can approve or disapprove work rules at the state level, but that's not how congress intended this to work. both the nonpartisan government accountability office and the congressional research service agree that this approval is far more than guidance. mr. paulsen: it is a new rule that must be approved by congress before it takes effect. it lets states know where congress stands on the importance of strong work requirements. the 199 welfare reform law was first created with a strong work requirement and it was a bipartisan historic achievement. the result was a program that heavily emphasizes engaging welfare recipients in work and full work activities.
before the guidance, states knew what the rules were, however in the wake of this rule, it's not clear what the rules are now. it seems intent now to simply make up the rules as they go along. that's what an anonymous h.h.s. official told "the washington post" creently describing the policy of waiting work requirements was evolving. the administration's success of these will strengthen the work requirements is not reassuring because it just doesn't make sense. if states engage more welfare recipients in work for more hours and tougher penalties for failing to work, there's nothing to stop them from doing so under current law. they don't need a waiver to apply to any of that. simple logic, simply says that the h.h.s. guidance is about weakening not strength yepping work requirements for welfare recipients. mr. camp: i yield another additional 30 seconds. mr. paulsen: we cannot allow them to circumvent congress and
undermine welfare-work requirements. i urge my colleagues to support the resolution and yield back the balance of my time. mr. levin: i now yield 1 1/2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from new york, charles rangel. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. rangel: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rangel: thank you. i thank you for allowing me this opportunity to participate in the republican presidential campaign. because that's exactly what this is. i saw a commercial with a white guy working and sweating and, looked like america to me, except they had something in there about president obama wanting people who didn't want to work and all they had to do was have a welfare check. i thinkle it had something like, i paid for this commercial or something like that. i'm part of it.
that's the first time i have seen a standing committee manipulate itself to give credibility to a guy who just really doesn't know what this is all about. i never thought i would be in the well talking about state rights, but i do recognize their different employment needs of people in alaska and people in hawaii, people in new york, people in mississippi. they just don't all have the same job opportunity. and the whole idea for something for the governors, republican and democrat, asking governors to have the flexibility not to fill out forms but to say what's working? how are they putting these people to work? they think the most important thing that we are forgetting is that not having a job and facing your family each and every day is more than not having a paycheck. it's not having self-esteem. and the whole idea that we would distort the temporary
assistance to needy families -- could i have 10 more seconds? to believe that people who are used to working hard, having dignity, just because the candidate for president made another mistake that we are going to have to now legislate something to show that we think he makes any sense on that issue, it is wrong and it ain't going nowhere. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. mr. camp: i yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from georgia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. >> we are here today to head off president obama and the administration's attempts to gut the welfare reform work requirements. americans don't want something for nothing. gerns want to work. why? because it's the american way. but this issue is bigger than welfare, it's a skirmish in a
war over america's future, the direction we are going in. mr. graves: under this president's watch, 38 1/2 years, the number of abled bodied adults receiving food stamps has doubled. the federal debt is up by $5 trillion. spending on welfare up 41%. more debt and greater dependency is the wrong vision for america. now what's happened here in the last several years? i guess the last three years? opportunity has diminished and there is a clear choice right now, mr. speaker. it's a choice between two futures. we can continue down this path of debt and dependency and see the different path and that's one of opportunity and prosperity. i thank the gentleman for bringing this forward because the choice before americans today is very clear and we choose opportunity and prosperity for every american. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan. mr. levin. mr. levin: i yield myself 15 seconds. i hope everybody heard that
last statement. it shows someone coming down and essentially endorsing in a broad way the 47% statement. horribly misguided statement the governor of massachusetts, former governor. i now yield a minute and a half to the very distinguished gentleman from massachusetts. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. neal: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, this is a paid political broadcast brought to you by the majority side of the ways and means committee. i chaired the democratic party position in 1996 on welfare reform. i voted for it and supported the work requirement at the behest of president clinton. the idea was to provide childcare, transportation assistance, educational assistance, and child support payments and to balance that with the work requirement.
but most importantly, at the request of names like tommy thompson, john engler, and george pataki, their request was that in the crucible of state opportunity that they would position themselves with some flexibility to play out the work requirement. we never moved away from the five-year requirement. their suggestion was simply let us determine how we get to the five-year requirement. so what we are doing here today is trying to offer a criticism of the president 6 1/2 weeks before an election based upon misinformation that voters are being malevolent because of the content -- welfare reform
worked overwhelmingly and it worked because it was a compromise in the end. but not to undertake the role that republican governors played in bringing this issue to that experiment. mr. camp: two minutes to a member of the ways and means committee, the gentleman from illinois. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for two minutes. >> i thank the chairman. i for the life of me don't understand why my friends on the other side of the aisle are in defense about this. mr. roskam: this is nothing to defend. this is to say the white house made an error in engaging substantively in downgrading work requirements for welfare and rather than being defensive about it, say, look, they messed up. let's not defend them. let's make sure that they don't color outside the lines. this is not some abstract thing, mr. speaker. there are very serious voices that have come out and they have made this argument that the following things are work
and should be included, mr. speaker, under the work definition for welfare. things like, bed rest, massage, exercise, motivational reading, smoking cessation, weight loss promotion, participation in parent meetings, and helping a friend or relative with household tasks or errands. there are some folks that are making the argument that if you go help your neighbor rake a lawn, then somehow that's work under the welfare to work requirement? this is not some abstract thing. this is not something that the g.o.p. is looking for. this is a sense of clarity that most americans have said, look, we recognize that if people need help they should get help. but not to be manipulated through absurd definitions that are coming from who knows where, some states with a straight face that actually want to manipulate this to
their benefit. this is an area where everybody should come together. this should pass with a voice vote. this is an admonition to the white house to say don't do this. don't -- do not weaken these work requirements. instead make sure that they are fast and solid and that they move people to work, but don't subsidize massage therapy and pump a lot of sunshine and tell hardworking americans it works because it's not. let's do the right thing. pass this quickly, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. the gentleman is recognized. mr. levin: those statements indeed are an insult, an insult. that isn't what the administration has in mind. . i read a letter from the governor of utah to the secretary of h.h.s. in discussion with h.h.s. officials, utah suggested that we be evaluated on the basis of the states' success in placing
our customers in employment while also using the full participation model. this approach would require some flexibility at the state level and the granting of a waiver. that's what this is about. don't massage the truth. i now yield a minute and a half to the distinguished gentleman from california, mr. thompson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. thompson: i rise in opposition to this political poppy cock. i got a real personal issue in this legislation. when i was in the state senate i wrote california's welfare reform legislation, and the work requirement was a major part of that and it was a bipartisan effort in california. it was signed by a republican governor, pete wilson, and today it's still being followed
by democratic governor jerry brown. welfare reform has worked. 15 years later, the program caseload in california is roughly 60% of what it was in 1998. even in the face of this terrible recession that we're hooking at today. and waivers were an important part of that as they are in every state across the nation. those waivers allow flexibility to governors to run federal programs in the most effective and the most efficient way possible. one size does not fit all. and that's why we have these waivers. in this case they work because they move more people from welfare to work and that's what we want. this bill should be roundly defeated. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. mr. camp: at this time i yield two minutes to the
distinguished gentleman from georgia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. mr. gingrey: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman for yielding and i rise in strong support of h.j.res. 118. the department of health and human services in july essentially stripped many of the provisions of the 1996 welfare reform act in regard to tanf, the temporary need for -- temporary assistance need, and they should not do that. they absolutely should not do that. and this resolution, of course, calls for action under the congressional review act. our authority, mr. speaker, as members of congress, to say no, you cannot do this, hmpt h.s., by any kind -- h.h.s., by any kind of executive order and we are going to challenge it
because people sometimes, yes, they do need a nudge to get off of welfare and on to work. but in the final analysis these individuals have the pride of having a job. there is nothing that compares to that. and as long as you have that opportunity, i think most individuals -- and as i say, some may need a little of a nudge, but most people will gladly embrace that opportunity. so that's what this is all about. we're just simply saying we want to make sure that the provisions, be in a very bipartisan way, with president clinton and agreeing with congress to have that welfare reform. it was worked out very carefully and we as a congress will not permit those provisions to be stripped out of welfare to work. and so please, my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, join me in supporting h.j.res. 118. and i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. mr. levin: i now yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pascrell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. pascrell: thank you, mr. speaker. the resolution before us today is an exercise in hypocrisy. mr. speaker, just a few days ago before coming down to d.c., we had a commemoration from monsignor vincent pull more who started rehab for -- pulmer who started rehab for drugged aics and for those a-- drug addicts and for those addicted to alcohol. he said, treat each person with dignity. with all of this talk and all that you done, you not only make a political farce out of this. i heard a lot of political speech -- you make people in the great majority of people who legitimately, legitimately
are on welfare and have a job. you make them feel less than human. but monsignor said, treat everybody, every person with dignity and that's what this is all about. and for you to put this sham up here in front of us only adds to the disgrace. all of your states show they will use that flexibility to increase work force. it says it right in the law. quote and unquote. never mind this is a policy that you folks on the other side of the aisle, including mitt romney, when he was back in massachusetts, and our colleague, congressman ryan, have asked for. i will quote the letter written by the republican governors association in 2005, eight years, at least, after signed -- the welfare reform was signed. here's governor romney. may i complete the sentence? mr. levin: i yield an additional 30 seconds. mr. pascrell: thank you.
the speaker pro tempore: chair would remind members to direct their remarks to the chair. mr. pascrell: you going to start with me? the speaker pro tempore: chair will remind members to direct their remarks to the chair. mr. pascrell: this is what governor signed, 2005, mr. speaker. increased waiver authority, allow work activities, availability of partial work credit and the ability to coordinate state programs are all important aspects of moving recipients from welfare to work. quote/unquote. i didn't say it. he didn't say it. mitt romney signed the letter. the administration's policy has nothing to do with waiving the work requirement. if anything you're increasing the work requirement, if you read the words and not conjecture. this resolution would block governors across the country for putting more people back to
work. how do you like that? thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. mr. camp: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. mr. levin: it's now my pleasure to yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from new york, mr. crowley. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. crowley: i thank my friend and colleague, the ranking member, for yielding me this time. when just days before the majority adjourns until after the election, there are numerous pressing bills we should be completing. but it seems that nothing will stop my colleagues on the other side of the aisle from the opportunity to spend time criticizing our president with a political stunt bill once again. i would think that an effort to move at least 20% more, that's 20% more people from welfare to work would be applauded by my
colleagues on the other side of the aisle. that's right. an increase in employment among tanf recipients under the proposal by the president. but instead this bill we're considering today actual low stops people from moving towards work. i know there has been a resistant to passing a jobs bill by this majority, but this is absolutely ridiculous. it's one thing not to have a jobs bill on the floor, but to have a bill on the floor that would actually say, don't incentivize more people to find work opportunity it just really is ridiculous. the truth is my colleagues on the other side of the aisle seem much more interested in attacking the president than truly working to improve programs and policies as evidence by the unfinished work that they are leaving behind. i hope my colleagues will see through this charade on both
sides of the aisle and will all vote no on this bill so we can get back to work on serious issues and not political gamesmanship. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. mr. camp: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. mr. levin: can you tell the time? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, has four minutes remaining. mr. levin: i'll reserve. mr. camp: i have no further speakers. i believe i have the right to close. i'm prepared to close when the gentleman is through with his speakers. len levin i yield myself the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. levin: you know, i think the public should ask why this resolution, why trying to provide some kind of a smokescreen for an ad that has been called a pants on fire lie
and four pinocchios dishonest, why do that? i think the reason is very clear. this is manipulating the truth to try, i think, to appeal to the worst instincts. i worked with ron haskins on welfare reform and he says, i quote, there is no plausible scenario on which it -- he means this ad -- really constitutes a serious attack on welfare reform. he goes on to say, the idea -- i repeat this -- that the administration is going to try to overturn welfare reform is ridiculous.
and then he says republicans are the ones who talk about giving the states more flexibility. now, all of a sudden the states shouldn't get the flexibility because they're going to mess it up. it doesn't make sense. but it's worse than nonsense. it's pernicious. the ad is pernicious and it's beneath the dignity of this house for republicans in the house who are doing nothing on major issues to do something to try to protect the former governor of massachusetts, their candidate for president. this house deserves much better than becoming a political play thing. a political play thing. it won't happen. despite this vote, d won't -- it won't happen.
yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. mr. camp: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. camp: when the welfare reform bill was passed in 1996 and passed by president clinton, the work requirement was the key part of the bill. the requirement was this, at least 50% of the caseload has to be engaged in work. and the principle was if you're able bodied you ought to be working if you're going to be receiving federal benefits. now, the statute named 12 different things that qualify as work. most of us think of work going actually to employment. but there are 12 things, a couple of them, job search and job readiness -- actually under current law -- qualify for work. vocational training and education qualifies for work as long as it doesn't exceed one year. also put in the statute was a clear statement that the work requirement could not be waived because changing the paradigm
on welfare was absolutely critical. as i said in my opening statement, it has been important to reducing welfare caseloads to bringing people to independence, to reducing child poverty. those were all critical goals that have been met. let me read what dr. haskins, the staff director on the ways and means, and when i was on the ways and means i helped write the welfare bill, said at that time in terms of waivers -- and this is the committee report. waivers granted after the date of enactment may not override provisions of the tanf law that concern mandatory work requirements. that's because this was such an important part of the change that we were trying to bring to welfare and it's been very successful. some might say the most successful social change that has occurred. so every administration since then, whether it was the clinton administration or the bush administration and even the beginning of the obama administration, recognized that work requirements could not be waived. there's plain language in the
statute in section 407 that says the work requirement cannot be waived. well, here comes the obama administration through an information memorandum that now both g.a.o. and the congressional research service, really a rule -- and i would ask unanimous consent to place in the record both the letter of september 4 and the september 12 congressional research service memorandum both saying the administration action was a rule. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. camp: but now comes the administration saying we don't have to go to congress to change the law. even though congress voted on this in a bipartisan way and this was a critical piece of major legislation, we're just going to send an information memorandum and have unelected bureaucrats change the law of the land. well, people who sort of referee things like g.a.o. and c.r.s. said, hold it, stop. this is not an information memorandum.
this is a rule. if an administration wants to promulgate a rule, there are certain criteria that they have to follow and the reason is because unelected people are making law. so in order to do that they have to inform the congress, they have to do certain things. none of which the administration did. the bottom line if you read this information memorandum, projects that test systematically extending the period in which vocational education training or job search readiness count toward participation rates either nerally or for specific subgroups extend the period. under the law i said vocational training can only last a year. this memorandum says it can last longer than a year. that's weakening the work requirement number one and they number two, they did not notify congress and follow the law. come engage the congress, there's been no consultation,
there's been not one staff person from h.h.s. that's come up and had an opportunity to brief any of us. i'm willing to work with the administration, i'd like to hear their ideas, i'd like to have that opportunity to do so. i think it's regrettable that we've got ton this point but we've got ton this point because it's been a mistake. they made a mistake and they need to withdraw that i urge we support the resolution, this is too important to have unelected bureaucrats make the law of the land. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the time of the committee on ways and means has expired. the gentleman from minnesota, mr. klein, and the gentleman from california, mr. miller, each will control 15 minutes.
the gentleman from minnesota. mr. kline: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise today in strong support of h.j.res. 118, a resolution disapproving the obama administration's attempt to roll back successful welfare reforms. the resolution we are considering today is quite simple. it preserves bipartisan policies that serve low income families and reins in the slight -- the latest example of executive overreach by this administration. in 1996 a republican congress worked with a democratic president to faket -- to fix a broken welfare system by promoting work as a central focus of helping individuals achieve self-sufficiency, this bipartisan achievement reduced poverty and strengthened the income security of millions of needy families. the success of the law is a testament to the power of work and personal responsibility as well as what we can achieve when both sides work together in good faith.
unfortunately, the bipartisan spirit of welfare reform has been tarnished by the obama administration's decision to waive think historic work requirements ending welfare reform as we know it. while this action is troubling, it isn't surprising. the president has a track record of weakening work requirements in other federal programs, including unemployment benefits and food stamps. the results have been disappointing. a memo by the congressional research service notes the number of able bodied adults on food stamps doubled after the president suspended the program's work requirement. now we're supposed to believe a similar experiment will help families on welfare. this is also not the first time the president has been guilty of executive overreach. the obama administration has asked states to adopt its educational agenda through conal waivers, ignoring the lausm now states and schools face more uncertainty than ever about the future of the state's educational system.
additionally, the president announced which imdwration laws he will and won't enforce and installed unconstitutional, nonrecess recess appointments to the national labor relations board. despite these heavy-handed attempts to advance his agenda, 23 million workers are still searching for a full-time job and 46 million americans are still living in poverty. too many of our fellow citizens are unemployed and trapped in poverty not because of failed welfare policies but because of president obama's failed leadership. if the president has ideas for enhancing flexibility on welfare policy he must submit those to congress and work with us to change the law. he has not done that. instead he's chosen to adopt a controversial waiver scheme that rewrites law through executive fiat. the good news is we have an opportunity today to tell the president stop, stop rewriting federal law behind closed doors, stop promoting schemes that encourage government
dependency, stop advancing failed policies and start working with congress on positive solutions to grow our economy and create jobs. the american people desperately need and expect as much from elected leaders. i urge my colleagues to support h.j.res. 118 and take a stand against the president's efforts to roll back reforms that continue to lift families out of poverty and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. miller: we are -- we are focusing on a resolution of disprufle that doesn't create a single job. it would allow governors to use innovative approaches to move more welfare recipients into employment. immediately the republicans say it would gut the welfare reform.
fact checker after fact checker has disproved this. we're wait for them to show us where the proposal eliminates the work requirement. even the republican staff director of the ways and means committee subcommittee in 1996 at the time says these claims are false. in fact the adhrgs has clarified the rules, say nothing state will get a waiver unless it shows an increase in employment of 20% system of actually the republican position here is fairly consistent. they're even against -- they haven't done anything to create new jobs and they're against welfare recipients getting jobs and they're against governors increasing employment opportunities by 20%. so i guess we now know in this last waning days of the session, the republican party here is against all jobs. no matter who is standing in line for the jobs, they're against those jobs. even though the republican governors have petitioned for the right to change the welfare law to put more people to work
and the administration says you can do that if you put 20%, imagine put 20g% more people to work on the welfare rolls of california or new jersey or texas? but the republicans say no. and the republican governors and democratic governors have asked for this authority in 2002, 2003, 2005 and the house passed much broader waiver authority trying to give the governors, if you will, state flexibility. that's what they were asking for. and -- but now all of a sudden in this critical year, their candidates run a little behind is we see this as an effort to try to attack the president of the united states for doing exactly what the republican governors and republicans in congress have done and voted on passed. as president clinton says, it takes brass to denounce something you yourself have already supported. but the hypocrisy doesn't stop there. you've got to have a lot of
hypocrisy when you're defending a candidate who believes in everything and stands for nothing. weeks before the administration announced this waiver process, the republican work force investment bill was reported out of my committee. the mantra of republicans all through that bill and through the consideration over the last couple of years has been state flexibility. well, they accomplished it in this bill. it provides so much state flexibility that the state was -- within a state unified training plan can eliminate all work requirements from tanf. passed out of the education and work force committee on a partisan vote, all republicans supporting that effort to get -- to let governors eliminate all work requirements. this debate is a little bit behind the times and probably not dealing with he serious problem of -- which is the republican work force incentive act that re-- the re-authorization of that problem. what a difference a few weeks and a convention make. here we are using the valuable time of this house before we go
to adjournment to carry out a political prank of manufactured problem a fabricated problem, based on fabricated facts and still we don't see ourselves dealing with the questions of middle class taxuts. we don't see dealing with jobs bill that we've been asking for time and again while this congress has been in session. it's a sad way to end this session of the congress of the united states. without providing the access to those jobs this congress could have been providing throughout this entire year to strengthen the economy. but then again, as the senate leader said they don't want to work with this president. they want him to fail. and for him to fail, that means the american people can't have jobs and that's the goal here. i yield back the balan of my time. i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. kline: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased now to yield two minutes to a distinguished member of the committee, the
the gentlelady from north carolina, ms. foxx. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the chairman for yieldingtime. -- for yielding time. it is unfortunate that our colleagues across the aisle are attempting to paint republicans as inconsistent on welfare work requirement, distract from their position in favor of undermining successful welfare reform. they suggest that the work force investment improvement act wiia, that i co-authored with representatives mckeown and hecht, would -- and heck, would gut the work requirements. the wiia allowed governors to reduce the number of taxpayer subsidized employment and training programs and offer real assistance to the millions of american whors unemployed and suffering because of the policies of this administration.
wiia would would reduce inefficiencies in how states administer the programs not undermine welfare reform. republicans have a clear record of strengthening the work requirements at the heart of the 1996 welfare reform bill and we have a record of working with the democrat president to accomplish that reform. i urge my colleagues to stand with us and with the 83% of americans who want to see welfare's work requirements upheld by voting in favor of this resolution. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. miller: i yield the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. hoyer: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i'm sure america has been watching the ads. the ads say that black is white. and they say it other and over
and over and over again. and they hope the american people believes that black is white. but it's not enough for them to say it on ads, now they bring to this floor, in the last seven hours of the session of congress before the election, are we dealing with jobs? no. are we dealing with violence against women? no. are we dealing with farmers who are in distress? no. are we dealing with middle class tax cuts? no. are we dealing with postal reform as the postal department goes broke? no. what are we doing? we are trying to reaffirm an ad that some people are spending tens of millions to misrepresent the facts. ladies and gentlemen, mr. speaker, black is not white. i can say it one time, 100 times, a thousand times, black
is black, and white is white. and this resolution that the -- this action the administration has taken is to produce more jobs, more work, to get more people back to work. how? to respond to republican governors and democratic governors who say i have a better way of doing it. by the way, that's what you proposed when you were in charge and we had president bush in office. on at least three occasions that the chairman has just mentioned. white is not black. and black is not white. mr. speaker, the bill before us today exemplifies the do-nothing republican congress. once again, republicans are choosing to focus on a political message over serious issues like jobs, middle class tax cuts or a farm bill. instead, we are here today discussing a republican bill that misrepresents the facts in an attempt to simply score
political points. how sad for the american people. at issue is the temporary assistance for immediatey families program which was created in 1996 when republicans and democrats work together to achieve welfare reform. you understand on that side of the aisle, i was a democrat who voted for welfare reform. i was a democrat who said, we ought to expect people to work if they can work. but i'm also a democrat that says we have to help people when through no fault of their own, they can't work or have lost work. previous speaker talked about we weren't concerned about jobs. by the way in the bush administration, 4.4 million jobs were lost in the last 12 months of the bush administration. over the last 30 months, we've created 4.6 million jobs. i ask you, who cares about jobs? who creates jobs? 22 million of course created in the clinton administration. we had a lot of talk about that
in our convention. i didn't hear anything about the bush administration. the record was certainly hidden. we care about jobs. we care about people getting to work. we also care about helping people. we can do both. defeat this bill. black is not white and whoit is not black -- white is not black and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. kline: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield to a member of the member, subcommittee chair, the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for three minutes. mr. walberg: thank you, mr. speaker, mr. chairman. 8% unemployment for 43 straight months, i think the record speaks for itself. i come from a state, the great state of michigan where a governor like a number of others in this great country now are trying to do everything possible to undermine the malaise that is going on in
employment or lack of employment in this country because of the wrong approach to helping people with the dignity of work. in the 1980's and 1990's in michigan we struggled with high unemployment. we struggled with a welfare system that was putting people really on servitude in any cases against their own will and desire. they wanted to work. i still have in my files in my home office copies of leaflets that were handed to people coming from other states to michigan saying, you can cross the line and immediately get welfare assistance. no work requirements. no residency requirements. we struggled with that. and then in 1994, under a republican administration and efforts of many of us, we put took workfare and promoted the dignity of individuals with an
opportunity to work. we saw amazing results begin to take place, not overnight, but almost. and we heard testimonies of people who from formerly on welfare assistance saying, i really didn't think it could work but i can say i am paying for my own way and my kids. i got an education. i got work now that gives me dignity, and i'm moving forward. we continued on with that, and now here when governors have asked for some flexibility with tanf, not asking for the removal of work requirements, we're going to do that. well, i said no and i'm glad our committee has said no and we move forward with this resolution, a resolution that speaks to the dignity, the value of individuals but also of work. the work experience, the educational experience and training for that. we don't want to move backwards. we don't want to put further
roadblocks in the way of achieving all that america can be. we don't have to. we can support a resolution like this. we can spur our president, this administration on to doing the right thing for the right people. that's the american people. people that will work with dignity and achieve things for the future. this country's great. let's work together, let's pass this resolution h.j.res. 118, and i yield become. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. >> i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. andrews. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for two minutes. mr. sdwarneds: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend -- mr. andrews: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. andrews: this repeals a
rule that doesn't exist and ignores some problems that really do exist. the policy from the health and human services says this -- if a fworchor thinks he or she has a better way to move people from welfare to work, as two republican governors have asked for since that time, they can get a waiver from some of the rules in the welfare law and only if they move more people from welfare to work than they would otherwise have done. the bill that the majority did report out of committee abolishes the work requirement. so in fact the only way to save the work requirement is to let this rule go into effect. that's the illusionary rule they're trying to repeal for the real problems they're ignoring what concern us, though. if you're a small business person that would like to have a tax cut when you create jobs, the house is ignoring that problem because we're not voting on that bill today. if you're a teacher or police
officer who's been laid off in the last two years, the house is ignoring your problem because we're not voting on that bill today. if you're an engineer or construction worker that would like to work building roads or brimmings or trains, the house is ignoring your problem because we're not voting on that bill today. this resolution repeals an imaginary rule at a time of real acute and serious problems for the american people. the majority does have a plan to deal with those problems. they're going home for 6 1/2 weeks. the american people shouldn't have to wait for 6 1/2 weeks to solve these problems. we should vote down this bill, stay on the job and pass jobs legislation that really helps the american people and a farm bill that helps the american farmers. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. kline: thank you, mr. speaker. now i'm pleased to yield two minutes to a member of the committee, subcommittee chairman, the health subcommittee, the gentleman from east tennessee, dr. roe.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized . mr. roe: i thank the chairman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.j. resolution 118. this resolution would express congress' disapproval of the obama administration's attempt of weakening bipartisan welfare reform and prevent administration from implementing their plan to waive work requirements for the current law. 16 years ago a republican-led congress worked with president clinton to fix a broken welfare system. the bipartisan law that resulted, the temporary assistance for needy families block grant. our ranking member said about 20% requirement to increase work, and i think that's a great idea. but how do you define work? well, the g.a.o. in 2005 issued a report that said some states counted work as such activities as bed rest, personal care, massage, exercise, journaling, motivational reading, smoking cessation, weight loss
promotion, helping a friend with a household task or running errands. that makes a mockery of work and that doesn't pass the laugh test. where i live independents, democrats and republicans in our area of the country know what work is and that isn't it. since then, since the passage of the law, a number of individuals have dropped off of the welfare, 57% decrease. and the poverty level among single women dropped by 30% while the income and earnings increased. more than 80% of the people in this country support work requirements in the welfare reform bill. and this legislation ensures that the hard work of the 104th congress and president clinton isn't weakened by the obama administration. let me speak to my friend, mr. andrews, for a moment. it's a great idea to hire teachers and firefighters. i did that as a mayor of a city of 60,000 people. but democrats have it just backwards. what you do is you create a
work environments with decreased regulations and decreased government interference where the private sector can go out and create the jobs that create the taxes that pay for all these services that we want. that's what we did. it works and that's a very basic difference in philosophy. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. miller: i yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. ms. woolsey: well, here we are, mr. speaker, 24 hours before the majority closes shop and sends us home for seven weeks, and what are we debating? are we talking about creating jobs for families who are struggling to make ends meet and wondering what happened to the american dream? no, of course not. instead, we're taking up yet another divisive partisan measure that will do nothing to
kick-start the economy or help people who've been kicked in the teeth by this recession. the obama administration's tanf waivers work. it allows the states the flexibility. they allow the states to -- consider work -- education as work, providing education and training to move people off of welfare so they can find jobs that actually pay a living wage so they can support their families. mr. speaker, i've been on public assistance. i know what it's like. it's a bad, bad feeling. it doesn't make you proud. i did it because i had to. certainly not because i wanted to. i would wake up in the middle of the night frozen in fear what would happen if one of my three children -- they were 1, 3 and 5 years old -- got ill.
what if they broke an arm? they were rowdy little kids. what if they grew out of their shoes before i planned to buy new shoes? it was a very scary time. the day that i went off welfare was the day that i celebrated because i didn't need it. i could stand on my own two feet. but i guess we shouldn't be surprised by this debate. the majority party's current standard barrier has said he believes 47% of the american people are essentially -- and that would have been me back there with my children -- freeloaders and pair sites who don't take -- parasites who don't take responsibility for themselves. that's outrageous and it is class warfare. den grading the poor and the --
denigrating the poor and the middle class is something done on the right. it should be creating jobs but it doesn't seem to be the way they go. i would like to suggest, mr. speaker, that we stop all this foolery and we think about the people in this country that we know we have a job to do and that job should be done before we leave here. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. kline: thank you, mr. speaker. could i inquire as to the time remaining on each side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota has 5 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from california has 3 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. kline: thank you, mr. speaker. then at this time i will yield three minutes to the distinguished gentleman from south carolina, mr. gowdy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. gowdy: i thank you, mr. chairman. mr. speaker, some of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle wish to change the law, and that's fine. they just need to do it navigating this testy little thing that we call the constitution and respect the
separation of powers between the various branches. mr. speaker, i want to read the proposed rule to you in part. h.h.s. has the authority to waive compliance with this work requirement and authorizes the states methods other than certificate forth in section 407 including definitions of work activities and specify limitations, verification procedures. and then the next sentence, mr. speaker, is essentially this -- and i'll paraphrase this. it's by the h.h.s. secretary. trust us, trust us that we're going to have the right motives when we waive what congress has expressly said to do. and to my lawyer friends on the other side, i want to ask you this. why do we have something called substantive due process and procedural due process? and i'll tell you why, mr. speaker. because the way things are done matters. and for my friends who prefer literature. the end does not justify the
means. we have separation of branches under our system of government. and one of my limitations, mr. speaker, is the inability to dane the motives of other people. their motives may be lauditory. i don't know that. i know this. we have a process in this country which must be followed, and this president has repeatedly said if congress won't do it i will don't it alone. and the answer to that is, no, sir, you will not. in a democracy you will not do it alone. whether it's the nlrb or e.p.a. or eaor, most recently h.h.s. with the health care mandate or now with this. there has been an erosion of congress' authority and we have ceded it to the executive branch. i say that to my colleagues on
the other side of the aisle. mr. speaker, the sun does not always shine on the same people all the time. there will come a time where there will be a republican chief executive, so i will be careful about ceding this body's responsibility to the executive branch. and when that time comes when there is a republican president, i will stand up for the right of congress to make the laws and not the executive branch, just as i am now, and i'll yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. miller: mr. speaker, this is all interesting except the fact is there's nothing in what the secretary of health and human services is proposed that's been consistent with the republican position over the years with the bush administration's position over the years, with the clinton administration position over the years and the obama administration position over the years and that is when they passed historic welfare reform that there would be an authority in there so that as
the governors lived with this over time they could make adjustments and that's why we keep reciting to the very instances where governors have asked for this, up to 29 governors, both parties, couple republican governors recently asking for this authority because they thought they had beater way to put it to work. you know, it's rather interesting today that one of the questions is whether or not we would extend the education time so people could get the proper credential, the proper training for a job. many people have been unemployed now for a couple of years from a job that may not be coming back and the skills they have need to be updated or they need to learn new skills to get the job available in their locality or maybe a ways down the road. it's also interesting that the business round table is in washington this week talking about this exact problem. how do we develop these new skills because of the skills mismatch that exists in this country today for hundreds of thousands of jobs that are available but apparently the skills are not there.
the people -- what if that training takes 13 months instead of 12 months or eight months instead of six months? why don't we give the governor the flexibility, if they believe that's the economic plan for their arrangement. we see con sor chums coming together of community colleges, state universitys, manufacturing consortiums, developing the programs for the kills of -- skills of the american work force. that's why governors who want to move to the future came and asked for that relief and that waiver authority exists in the social security act. that waiver authority is explicitly for this purpose. in the name of politics, we're going to deny those states that are struggling, those governors that are struggling with the ability to do this and under the rules, the memorandum
that's suggested, they would have to show a substantial increase in moving people from welfare to work. supposedly that's the goal of everybody who is a member of this body. but politics has overwhelmed that. if you have these concerns, we could have fixed it and moved on with getting people off welfare to work. we will leave here with some kind of political statement, a hollow political victory that means nothing except that those people will still be waiting to get off of welfare and go to work. the governors will still be waiting to implement the program to get them off welfare and go to work and the congress will go home. in the face of the desperate need of these people to acquire these skill, improve their talent, to provide for their family, to feed their kids, to educate them, provide for their health care, the congress will go home. it won't give the governor this is authority because it will look bad for their presidential candidate. they won't give the governor
this is authority because they can score points here. those governors weren't trying to score a point. they were trying to score some jobs. they were trying to score some jobs for their citizens. but political games will win out here because the clock is running out on this congress. so we could help those governors, could have tweaked this so you could have said you changed from what president obama wanned and we could have gone on and people could have had opportunity in america. you keep saying you're bored, you don't get around to providing it. >> gentleman's time has expired, the gentleman from minnesota. mr. kline: i yield myself the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. kline: we've got a number of issues to address here. we've heard so much in a relatively short period of time. we heard from some of our colleagues that we haven't brought a jobs bill and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle know very well we have
brought many jobs bills, in fact, over 30 of them have passed this house, most of them in a bipartisan way, the -- and are sitting in the senate. we just don't happen to believe that trillions more of borrowed money to jump start the economy is a jobs bill. that's been proven to fail. this, in fact is a jobs bill because we want people on welfare to get to george. -- to work. so we've heard that, well, no, this information memorandum, which has been now correctly determined to be a rule, an information memorandum designed to bypass congress, will in fact queaken the work requirements and so how do we draw that conclusion? from a number of things. one we're very concerned about the definition of work, we heard the number 20%, increase work by 20%, well that actually
means instead of 1.5% of people leaving with a, quote, job, that we still haven't quite defined, apparently, we'd have 1.8%. not an overwhelming number. and then we have the nonpartisan, ever present con grentional budget -- congressional budget office that's joined us with this opinion. under the memorandum, they quote, c.b.o. expects the penalties for states that don't meet the work requirements, don't meet the work requirements, specified in the social security act, would be reduced. sounds like waive work requirements to me. they go on, thus, c.b.o. estimates that enacting the resolution, 118, would reduce direct stand big $59 million over the 2012-2022 period as some states would pay increased penalties to the federal
government for failing to meet the work requirements. the work requirements in section 407 which the congress explicitly said may not be waived and we heard from the other side that, well, republicans in the committee, including the chairman, voted for the work force investment improvement act which waives all work requirements. we disagree with that. we disagree with that. even the c.o.s. says the purpose of the provision in that bill is to reduce administrative inefficiencies, not to gut welfare reform. but we have some disagreement. could be controversial. and an open system, open process, we can address that question when it comes to the floor of the house and if there's confusion we can make it crystal clear we do not want to waive work requirements that have been so important to the success of welfare reform. well, we're here today because the president decided he would
exercise power he does not have in order to waive welfare work requirements congress said must not be waived. so i urge my colleagues to join me in support of this important piece of legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: all time for debate has expired. pursuant to rethe rule, the resolution is ordered. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5 united states code of the rules submitted by the office of family assistance of the administration for children and families of the department of health and human services relating to labor and expenditure authority under section 1115 of the social security act 42 united states code 1315 with respect to the temporary assistance for needy families program. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 1-c of rule
19, further consideration of house joint resolution 118 is postponed. pursuant to clause c of rule 119 further consideration of house joint resolution 118 will now resume. the clerk will report the title. the clerk: union calendar number 481 -- 489, house joint resolution 118, providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, united
states code, of the rule submitted by the office of family assistance of the administration for children and families of the department of health and human services relating to waiver and expenditure authority under section 1115 of the sos act 42 u.s.c. 1315 with respect to the temporary assistance for needy families program. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the joint resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. >> i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in support of taking the -- taking the vote by the yeas and nays will rise. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 further proceedings on this question are postponed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on the motion to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20678 any record votes on the
postponed question will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 6429, the stem jobs act of 20 12. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 6429, a bill to amend the immigration and nationality act to promote innovation, investment and research in the united states, to eliminate the diversity immigrant program and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule the gentleman from texas, mr. smith and the the gentlewoman from california, ms. lofgren, will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: i ask that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 6429 currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, when it comes to stem fields, sciencing
technology, engineering and math, american universitys set the standard. our stem graduates create the innovations and real businesses that fuel our economic growth and create jobs. many of the world's top students come to the u.s. to obtain advanced stem degrees. but what happens to these foreign students after they graduate? under the current system, we educate scientists and engineers only to send them back home where they often work for our competitors. we could boost economic growth and spur job creation by enabling american employers to hire some of the best and brightest graduates of u.s. universitys. these students become entrepreneurs, patent holders and job creators. the stem jobs act makes available 55,000 immigrant visas a year for foreign graduates of american universitys with advanced
degrees in stem fields. three quarters of likely voters strongly support such legislation. a wide range of trade associations have endorsed this legislation as well. these include the institute for electrical and electronics engineers, the u.s. chamber of commerce, compete america, the information technology council and the society for human resource management. to protect american workers, employers who hire stem graduates must advertise the position and if a qualified american worker is available the stem graduate will not be hired. this bill makes our immigration system smarter by admitting those who have the education and skills america needs. stem visas are substituted for diversity visas, which invite fraud and pose a security risk. the stem jobs act generates jobs, increases economic growth and benefits american businesses. what more do we want? let's put the interests of our
country first and support this legislation. i reserve the plans of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from california. ms. lofgren: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. lofgren: for more than a decade i have been pushing for more visas for the high tech graduates in the stem field. for that reason, it pains me greatly that i cannot support this bill. first, although this bill ostensibly seeks to increase stem visas, it appears to have another, in my opinion more sinister, purpose, to reduce legal immigration levels. it does this in two ways. on its face, the bill eliminates as many visas as it creates by killing the diversity visa program which
benefits immigrants from country who was low immigration rates to the united states but it also ensures that many visas will go unused by preventing unused visas to -- from flow torge immigrants stuck in decades-long back blog. this is not the way our immigration works. i believe the only way it's written in these fashion is to appease anti-immigration groups. this bill shows that they are not in favor of legal immigration. supporters of legal imdeprigs would not have killed one immigration program to benefit another nor would they agree to a grover norquist style no immigration pledge that will continue to strangle the immigration system for years to come of. agreeing to zero sum rules now means never helping the almost five million legal immigrants
currently stuck in back logs. the republican bill also expressly allows for-profit and online schools to participate. while the bill contains language limiting immediate participation, it unquestionably opens the door to future participation. i cannot support a bill that will allow such schools to essentially sell visas to rich young foreigners. the vast majority of democrats in this chamber strongly support stem visas. i've introduced a bill that creates stem visas without eliminating other visas or including for-profit colleges. it has the support of the black, hispanic and asian caucus chairs. bring that to the floor and you'll see strong support from democrats. it should also get strong republican supports. in the past they supported stem legislation that didn't have other types of visas.
in the 110th congress i had a bill that is it just that with very considerable republicans, such as congressman john carter and pete sessions supporting it. if they can expand it without offsets so we can today. our majority has instead chosen to jam through a partisan bill that has no chance of becoming law. sorely, i think to supreme court political points. the only reason they have chosen to pursue this strategy right before an election is an attempt to appear more immigrant friendly their than record proves them to be and perhaps to create favor with high-tech groups. but this is an anti-immigration bill, and it only sets back the high-skilled visa clause. i believe if we take a step back, work in good faith on a bipartisan basis, we can pass a stem bill with overwhelming support. i'm eager to work with my colleagues on the other side of
the aisle to do just that. it's the right thing to do for the district i represent and for our country, but this flawed bill is one i cannot support. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield myself one minute before i yield to the gentleman from texas, mr. hall. mr. speaker, the gentlewoman from california said at least two things that are completely inaccurate and let me correct those statements. first, she says that this bill is going to reduce immigration and that that was somehow the intent behind the bill. the gentlewoman from california practiced immigration law and she knows better than to say that. under this bill -- and she knows this is the case -- individuals in other employment categories who are waiting for other types of employment visas, can switch over and apply for these stem visas if they are masters or ph.d. holders in the stem field. there is no limit on those. i expect every year that the number of visas that are not used directly will be used by
those individuals in other employment-based categories. want to make the point, too, that america is the most richest country in the world. we admit one million people legally every year. that's far more than every nation and may well be as every other country combined. the purpose of this bill is not to increase or decrease immigration, and i want to make that point and also the fact that most americans agree with this. four out of five americans do not want to increase the levels of immigration, according to one poll. only 4% believe the number of immigrants now entering the u.s. is too low. this bill reflects what the american people want. lastly, in regard for for-profit schools, the gentlewoman made light to that and seem to think this bill was going to be abused by those types of institutions. first of all, any institution, even if he are profit making, why do so many democrats oppose profits and free enterprise i don't know, but any profit making institution if they
otherwise qualify, which is to say if they grant doctorates and masters in stem fields and they are a research university, as deemed by the carnegie institute of higher education, yes, they'll qualify. but i want to say to the gentlewoman from california, today none of those for-profit institutions would qualify. if they somehow meet the qualifications in the future, why wouldn't we want them to be eligible to have their graduates, masters and ph.d. only apply for the stem visas? i am happy now to yield to the chairman of the science committee, the gentleman from texas, mr. hall. the speaker pro tempore: how much time? mr. smith: two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. hall: mr. chairman, i commend my good friend from texas, chairman smith, for his leadership in the bill today. as a member of the science committee since first elected in 1980, i've heard repeatedly of talented foreign students who receive advanced degrees from american universities,
would like to stay in the united states and put those degrees to work and are simply not permitted to do so. so they return to their home country and end up competing with us. likewise, i hear from industry, particular low the technology industry, that they have ample jobs to fill but there are not enough qualified americans to do those jobs. if this is true we want those jobs filled by americans and working to improve stem education in the country. but absent that talent now and with many of these companies already seeking employees overseas, it seems to me we should take advantage of the opportunity and from those and help those foreign students who have received their education in the u.s. to remain in the u.s. i expressed to the chairman that i remain hopeful that qualified americans should always fill available jobs, but i understand provisions are in place to ensure this. i further appreciate his willingness to reach a consensus on broadening institutions' eligibility. we should remember that well
respected institutions across the country have masters and those from qualified universities should be eligible. in closing, i support the bill before us today hoping that the chairman will work with us and the committee as the bill moves forward. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california. ms. lofgren: mr. speaker, i would ask unanimous consent to allow the ranking member of the full committee to control the remaining of the time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from michigan will control the time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: thank you, mr. speaker. it's with great pleasure and thank the gentlewoman from california, zoe lofgren, as much time as she may consume. ms. lofgren: i think the chairman misunderstands the issue. we have in u.s. universities graduating in stem fields 10,000 ph.d.'s and 303,000
masters degrees a year. assuming that all 40,000 want to stay in the united states, and that is not a valid assumption, we will not use up all of the 50,000 visas. it is true that the eb-2's might apply, but many of them did not go to american universities. so the easiest way to make sure that these visas are not eliminated is to do what happens in all the rest of the immigration e e.b. categories which is to allow those visas to flow. finally i have to say, i have never once been asked by a high-tech company to have some online university be the awarder of the ph.d. it's not a demand. it's not an interest that anybody in the technology field has ever expressed to me. i yield back, mr. chairman. mr. conyers: thank you. mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: i would now proudly yield to our distinguished whip, steny hoyer of maryland, three minutes.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for three minutes. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, in order to compete in today's global economy, we need to attract the best and brightest math and science students from around the world. i think we all agree on that. america, american technologies and internet companies which are far the best in the world, are in need of engineers and scientists. we are not producing enough here. in the long run we need to educate more in stem fields but we need to extend the stem visas so the companies can hire the best combrad wits of american universities. this could be a broadly bipartisan bill. it would pass easily, but once again unfortunately we have chosen a good bill and inserted a partisan poison pill making it impossible to pass the senate or attract broad bipartisan support. how sad it is that's been the history of this congress.
that poison pill was of course the elimination of the diversity visa program which ensures that individuals from a broad aray of countries have the opportunity to -- array of countries have the opportunity to seek a better life here in america. the statue of liberty with its torch raised is being brought down just a little bit. we don't know where our great innovators will come from and we ought not close the doors on those waiting patiently to have their number called in some far off corner of the road. it is not only our salvation but benefit. it's what make america great. i call on the republican leadership to withdraw this bill and instead take up the bill introduced by the gentlewoman from california, representative lofgren, which accomplishes the objective i think we all want to accomplish. that version would create opportunities through a new stem visa program without taking current opportunities away. i commend ms. lofgren for her work on this issue and for helping to sustain that yearning for america that still
moves the hearts of millions around the world. in light of what i just said, mr. speaker, i would ask the gentleman from texas if he will yield for the purpose of allowing me to make a unanimous consent request to amend his bill by striking all after the enacting clause and replacing the text with that of the gentlewoman from california, h.r. 6412, the attracting the best and brightest act of 2012. i tell my friend that will accomplish the objectives that you talked about, i've talked about in getting high-tech people the availability for our companies here in america. they need them. we want them. we ought to get them. and we ought to do it in a bipartisan way. this is an opportunity for bipartisanship that unfortunately has not come as often as we would like. i would ask my friend to allow me to make that unanimous consent, that we agree to that and i guarantee the gentleman we will get very substantial number of votes on this side of
the aisle for that proposition. and i hope on your side as well. will the gentleman yield for that unanimous consent? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland's time has expired. mr. hoyer: the gentleman has been instructed not to yield to me for that unanimous consent? i regret your side of the aisle wouldn't give me that opportunity for america, for america and our high-tech businesses and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, on the way to yielding to the majority leader of the house, i'd like to respond very quickly to what the gentleman from maryland just said. i want to make again the points that the diversity vees invites fraud and actual -- visa invites fraud and actually means we would have a security risk if we were to continue it. i want to -- mr. hoyer: will my friend yield on that issue for 30 seconds? mr. smith: i'm afraid i don't have the time. the assistant secretary of state for visa services has testified that the diversity
visa fraud includes multiple entries, fraudulent claims to education, work experience, pop-up spouses or family members, relatives added after the application is submitted and false claims for informant or financial support in the united states. the state department's inspector general has testified that the diversity visa program, quote, contains significant risk and national security from hostile intelligence officers, criminals and terrorists attempting to use the program for entry in the united states as permanent residents. we already had one individual who was admitted on a diversity visa, tried to blow up the world trade center in 1993. he killed six people, injured hundreds of people. that's why this program is not good for this country. i'm more than happy to yield one minute to the gentleman from virginia, mr. cantor, the majority leader of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. cantor: i thank the speaker and i thank the gentleman from texas for his leadership on this bill. mr. speaker, since we were elected to the majority, the
house republicans have put forward solutions to spur job creation and economic growth by frankly focusing on and helping small businesses get off the ground to grow and hire. we have helped job innovation by enacting patten reform, the jobs act and the removal of regulatory and tax burdens that are impeding small businesses' growth. the stem jobs act we are voting on today is part of our commitment to help small businesses, to help them create jobs by ensuring the top foreign students in american universities have the opportunity to launch or work for american businesses. the bipartisan stem jobs act takes 55,000 visas currently awarded based on a lottery and instead awards them to foreign graduates of u.s. universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
this legislation provides students with the opportunity to stay here in america where they can contribute to the american economy rather than leaving for other countries, taking their venture capital with them to compete against america and our businesses. i want to thank the gentleman from texas, chairman smith, as well as congressman henry cuellar, for introducing this legislation. i'd also like to note that congressman bob goodlatte of virginia and congressman raul labrador from idaho have been instrumental in getting us here. but there's a reason why we in america are the world's leading innovators and have within our borders the world's leading innovators and why they choose to launch their companies here. our nation offers immense opportunities to those who come to our shores. my grandparents, like so many others who immigrated to america, knew what foreign students know today -- that
america has always been a place which puts a premium on ensuring that no matter who you are or where you're from, everyone here should have the opportunity to go and achieve and earn success. according to the partnership for a new american economy, 40% of fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. so, we must start to take advantage of our status as a destination for the world's best and brightest. we must continue to do that. we want job creation and innovators to stay here and help us compete. over the past two decades, the number of international graduate students at our top natch universities has grown. -- top-notch universities has grown but the percentage of students getting visas has largely remained the same since 1990. the stem visa program tells our
students, you choose america and america chooses you. it will mean more innovation, more startups, more jobs and a better economy. it's time our visa system adopted this common sense advancement. it's time for taos pass this bill, mr. speaker. i hope there's a broad bipartisan basis -- base of support when the vote occurs and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: judy chu is an active member of the judiciary committee and heads the asia-pacific caucus. we're pleased to yield her one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. chu: i rise in opposition to this bill which will daniel our already broken immigration system. i strongly support allowing students to stay and work here. but it reduces the number of
visas available and lets unused stem visas disappear by 2014. it gets rid of the -- of many legal visas available each year. supporters of legal immigration should not have to kill other immigration -- imgrailings programs to help our economy haintain its competitive edge. this is not a zero sum game. anyone in support of fair legal immigration should oppose this bill and i urge both sides to come together to work on a bipartisan stem visa bill that will help keep our economy competitive without making our backlogged immigration system worse. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. i, is a the chairman of the government oversight committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. issa: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. speaker. for 12 years, my greatest
ambition here in congress has been my membership of the judiciary and my activities of trying to bring real immigration reform that's a plus to our country. my district has two notable areas, one, the agricultural areas that so desperately need a guest worker program, and the other throughout san diego and orange county, the high tech areas that in my areas rival the best in the world that run out of h1v's on the day they're offered. i support the stem visa program. let me go through two or three things that are obvious in this debate. one is, people who are detractors from this say we'd love to have it, we want an expansion in the total number of immigrants. let's understand, america allows more people to immigrate to our shores than the entire rest of the world combined does
to theirs. we're already the most generous. there has to be a number and that number has been set. secondly, it doesn't take away from anyone who has a valid need or reason to come here. i won't limit reunification, it's not going to limit those who have tortured or in some other way affected in their foreign country. but i think the most telling one is, the c.b.o., our independent, nonpartisan organization, that in fact has said that making this change will save over $1 billion in costs from the dependency that many diversity candidates prove to have in spite of the regulations saying they shouldn't and lastly, and the most important one, as an employer of a high tech company, a founder and employer for many years, america has to be like every high tech company. you will always -- you are always open to hire somebody who will make your country --
your company grow. america will grow in four jobs per more for each person who applies and received one of these video is as. that's about getting the economy going again and jobs happening again and i thank the speaker and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired this egentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: i thank you because there's only one problem separating the two views that have been presented by both sides of the aisle here this afternoon. but the proposal of those on the other side of steam rolling through today simply does not provide for new video is as for stem graduates. instead, it completely eliminates diversity visas, a long standing legal immigration program. and as surely everyone
understands on both sides of the aisle that we strongly oppose a zero sum game that trades one legal immigration program for another. i've heard someone suggest that. the elimination of the diversity visa program will drastically decrease immigration from african countries. it's as simple as that. in recent years, african immigrants have comprised approximately 40% to 50% of the diversity visa programs -- program's annual beneficiaries. so we just say simply that is not fair. that no point in us having to swallow this poison pill and i can assure you that there's no
intention that that be done. second, the diversity visa program plays an important foreign policy role for the united states. as a former ambassador testified, the year before last at a judiciary committee hearing, quote, the program engenders hope abroad for those that are all too often without it. hope for a better life. hope for reunification. with family in the united states. and hope for a chance to use their god-given skills and talents. so i ask my colleagues, please consider how we can move the stem issue forward without eliminating the diversity visa program and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves, the gentleman from texas.
mr. smith: i yield two minutes to the welt from virginia, mr. goodlatte. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: i thank the gentleman from texas, the chairman of the committee for his fipe work on this legislation. i rise in support of it. you know this house has twice passed through the entire house legislation eliminating the visa lottery program. 55,000 visas not given based upon family reunification needs. not based upon job shortages in the united states. but based upon pure luck. and it's unfair to people from more than a dozen countries around the world that stand in long lines on waiting lists and then watch somebody have their name drawn out of a computer at random with no particular job skills, no ties to this country and they get to go right past them into a green card in the united states system of if you're from mexico, you're not
eligible for the visa lottery program. if you're from canada, you're not et jibble for the video is a lottery program. if you're from china, india, or the philippines, more than a dozen country, you are not eligible for this program at all. and let me just say that far more people with far greater contributions to make to our economy, our system, will benefit from using those visas for stem, for science, for technology, for engineering and math, in fact, most african immigrants to the u.s. do not come through the diversity program. and many will benefit from a stem visa program. there are more than 3,000 students from nigeria alone studying in stem fields in the united states. they will be able to stay in the u.s. because of the stem jobs act. this is a good proposal that is fair to people who want to come to this country to better their lives for themselves but also
to help the crites in these difficult economic times find people who are needed here or who have legitimate family reunification needs. not simply based on pure luck. our immigration system is in need of more reform than this, but this is a great reform and i urge my colleagues to pass this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: i'm pleased to yield to the former chairman of the education and labor committee, the distinguished gentleman from california, george miller, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. mill -- mr. miller: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i rise in opposition to this partisan bill. it's unfortunate. maintaining this country's advantage in science and technology is an important issue. we have long supported efforts to address the issue of stem visas, we recognize how important these careers are to the future economic strength of this country. we could be working together in a bipartisan way to address
these issues in a fair and thoughtful manner. but this bill does not do that. instead of working together, the majority has chosen a partisan route this route puts american workers' wages at risk at a time when they can ill afford it. it allows a dangerous race to the bottom that will drive wages down for american workers. it allows them to pay video is a holders less than similarly situated workers who are not visa holders. we know this will mean u.s. workers -- what this will mean for u.s. workers' pay and job opportunities. depressing family wages is not what our country meeds. that's why i join with congresswoman lofgren that would require a visa holder to be paid at least the actual wage being paid to an american worker in the position. i also worry that this will pay
off for-profit institutions. the republican bill allows for-profit institutions to participate. the provision would allow these stewings to find new, lucrative revenue streams for their shareholders. the american people made it clear they are fed up with the powerful special interests gaming the system to gain the bottom line. they are fed up with the partisan politics meant to gain the advantage in an election cycle. it's been two years -- we've had two years to have a full and open debate on this issue but the republicans have chosen partisanship over moving this country forward. that's why we see this bill requiring 2/3's vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. smith: under this bill, employers have to pay the prevailing wage. i don't know where the gentleman got his information.
mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from arkansas, mr. griffin, the distinguished and active member of the judiciary committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arkansas. mr. griffin: i rise in support of the stem jobs act and thank chairman smith for his leadership. i want to tell you about job creators in my district who would benefit pr this bill. wellstone tubular who made the pipes for the pipeline needs highly skilled workers. another company needs workers to develop laser products. these companies have struggled to find the specific talent they need and this bill would help them create jobs. we are currently educating highly skilled ph.d.'s and masters and sending them back home to compete against us after they graduate. that's like arkansas recruiting the best college football players from texas, training them on our offense, and sending them back to texas to compete against us.
that doesn't make any sense. let's fix it. let's pass this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, few have worked harder on this with sow lofgren than the gentleman from illinois, mr. gutierrez, -- with zoe lofgren than the gentleman from illinois, mr. gutierrez, i yield him two minutes. mr. gutierrez: this debate is not about sending educated people back to their countries. the real debate we are having today in creating stem visas is whether to shut the door to opportunity to others who contribute to the united states of america. i haven't seen one letter from google, yahoo, apple, intel or high tech industries that says eliminate 25,000 to 30,000 visas to those from africa and
give them to the high tech industry. i haven't seen one letter that says that. and they know that, it's just something they want to do, they want to poison this well with that kind of bad policy. based on the immigrant stories we heard at the republican and democrat convention from almost every speaker, i would guess all of us would welcome any decent, hardworking person with enough heart and guts to pursue their biggest dream but that's not what this bill does. i wish it did. imagine if those millions who pass through ellis island were given a test when they arrived. if they were gifted in science and math, they were in. if they were simply a hardworking man or woman in search of a better life, they wouldn't have been good enough under this bill. think about it. where would we all be if we had to pass that test? the pelosis and the billionaires
and the blumenauers, the schakowskies and the lipinskis, the ken kiss -- ken disand the kuciniches. when my parents came from puerto rico they didn't need a visa but they just had a sixth grade education and a ninth grade education. thunderstorm bill they would say, not here and not in this america. you're not welcome. but my mom worked in a factory and my dad drove a cab and they worked hard every day. they worked hard every day to make this. and they sent their children to college and one of them today serves in the congress of the united states. they lived the story of america. mr. conyers: 30 more seconds. mr. gutierrez: they lived the story of america. they came with nothing but hopes and played by the rules and aggrieved -- achieved great things. america's also a nation because we attract those with the most
heart and soul to make something different. let's defeat that bill so we can continue that great american tradition. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i recognize myself for 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, no one is hurt more by the diversity visa program than unemployed hispanics and black americans. the unemployment rate for hispanics with only a high school education is almost 14%. the unemployment rate for african-americans with only a high school education is almost 19%. the diversity visa program forces these unemployed americans to compete with those other individuals who don't have more than a high school education for very scarce american jobs. why do we want to do this to our own people? i recognize for two minutes the gentleman from idaho, mr. labrador, and original co-sponsor of this legislation, very active on this subject. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from idaho. mr. labrador: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of the stem jobs act of 2012. this bill addresses one of the
bipartisan issues we ought to be able to solve their in the house of representatives. both president obama and governor romney have spoken about the need to reform our immigration system, to keep more of the best and the brightest minds in america. i'm very pleased to have worked with chairman smith on this bill and i want to thank him for his leadership on this bill. i also want to thank mr. goodlatte and the majority leader for their commitment to bringing this jobs bill to the floor. the future of our economy is in stem fields. new printers from hewlett-packard, new semiconductors and new phones from apple are all reliant on retain the world's best and brightest students and harnessing their ingenuity to create jocks here in america -- jobs here in america. even in an economic downturn, there aren't enough u.s.-born graduates to meet the needs of high-tech employers. right now foreign-born students are benefiting from our education system and then going home to compete with us. this legislation allows us to retain their skills and
innovation. we know that every american with an advanced stem degree creates two to three new american jobs. we are place -- we are replacing a broken, inefficient visa program with one that works. rewards innovation and makes jobs for our economy. mr. speaker, i've heard the other side talk about this bill today, all day. this other side controlled the house, the senate and the presidency for two years and did nothing to improve the immigration system. they didn't pass immigration bills, yet the president campaigns on the issue of immigration reform. yet once again, faced with actually passing a bill that improves the immigration system, they're making a stand against immigration reform and against economic growth. let me clarify one thing. i have a great deal of respect for congressman lofgren. she and i have talked about this issue for the entire year and a half, two years that i've been here in congress. and i recognize that she's been a leader on this issue for over the years. but i'm also an immigration
attorney, i've been an immigration attorney for 15 years. and i must clarify that unused diversity visas have never rolled over and this is just proof that this is more about politics than policy. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, the previous speaker, and i'd like to gain his attention, the house of which you are a member passed the dream act 216-208 and we enjoyed the support of eight republican members. mr. speaker, i now turn to a senior member of the committee from the judiciary, sheila jackson lee, and i am only able to yield to her 1 1/2 minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas, 90 seconds. ms. jackson lee: mr. chairman, i'm most grateful. let me thank you very much, to the speaker, and to my colleague from texas.
this is the perfect infrastructure for collaboration and bipartisanship. we have worked together on this issue and we have crobted the issue that i mentioned -- confronted the issue that i mentioned to congresswoman lofgren, and what we will continue to work on is to ensure the outreach to historically black colleges and has panic hfer-serving -- hispanic-serving colleges for people who are prepared to work in america's technology industry, and i expect that that will happen. and so i am supportive of stem visas, to provide for the infrastructure of workers for the dynamic technology, silicon valley, software, austin, texas, and beyond, to be able to be vibrant and thriving. but as i just left the president of malawi, a woman who has inspired her people to look to the future, and as they look to the future we have said that we want to ensure that america has
a future with the continent. to remove the diversity visas, diversity visas that create divert, to take away the opportunities from a continent that by and large has been an ally and friend to the united states, whose african citizens have come to be reunited with families, who have generated outstanding businesses, from south africans to kenyans to those from nye the gentlelady's time has expiredia, -- nigeria, where in my town nigerians have created the most successful brand of small businesses from being seamstresses to doctors and lawyers and others. i cannot vote for a bill that will allow us to remove the component for diversity visas as an exchange or substitute for this kind of approach. we must have a balanced comprehensive immigration reform. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from texas.
mr. smith: mr. speaker, let's put our own unemployed hispanics and black americans first. they should come first. mr. speaker, i yield 45 seconds to the gentleman from california, mr. bilbray, the chairman of the immigration reform caucus. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. bilbray: mr. chairman, i rise today in strong support of this piece of legislation and all over america americans are having to make priority decisions in their families. the fact is this congress needs to make some priority decisions. it is not only the right but the responsibility of this congress and this nation to make sure that our immigration policy is good for america first and foremost. this bill will replace a failed system that actually gambled with america's future by having a lottery. and replaces it with bringing good scientists in. let me give you the numbers from just recently. this is going to create 55,000, we'll be able to see that -- do we want to have 6,000 iranians coming here or do we want 6,000 scientists and researchers coming in? do we want to set aside an area
where we have over 2,000 ma rackans being given -- moroccans being given a set-aside for their country rather than treating individuals who have proven that they have an asset that we need in this country? the real issue here, mr. chairman, are we really to correct the mistake of the past, to move forward with a fair system that judges individuals based on their merit, not based on the country that they are coming from? and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield the gentlelady, ms. sheila jackson lee, 25 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jackson lee: if we pass the american jobs act we will help hispanic youngsters, anglo youngsters, african youngsters. what an insult to america's values to suggest that those who come to this country to give by the way of a legal process, diversity visas are not contributing, i do not want to insult anyone who comes with the idea of helping america. that means wherever they've come
from, africa, iran and elsewhere. if they come for a good reason, through the diversity visa, to reunite with their famil, that is the american way. immigration by law, that is the american way. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield to the very patient member from texas, mr. hinojosa, 1 1/2 minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. hinojosa: mr. speaker, mr. speaker, i rise to strongly oppose h.r. 6429, the republican stem proposal, before the house today under suspension of the rules. as the ranking member of the subcommittee on higher education and work force and vice chair of the congressional hispanic caucus, i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, i urge my colleagues to join me and members of the congressional hispanic caucus, the congressional black caucus, and the asian american caucus, in
strongly opposing this republican stem proposal, misguided legislation that would curtail legal immigration to the united states. as a proud co-sponsor of this bill, i support this legislation because it would allow advanced stem graduates to remain in the united states and contribute to our nation's scientific discovery and technological innovation, increasing our nation's global competitiveness. this bill reduces backlogs for stem degree recipients by retaining critical talent and creating a new green card category for persons with advanced degrees in stem. from research universities in the united states, i must underscore that this score does not eliminate or weaken our immigration programs to increase stem visas. this bill targets only the best and the brightest foreign students, unlike the republican proposal this legislation, h.r. 6412, does not allow foreign graduates of for-profit colleges or receive stem visas including
degrees earned by mail or over the internet. in closing, i urge my colleagues to strengthen our nation's global competitiveness and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair would advise both sides, the gentleman from texas still has 41 fourts minutes and the gentleman from -- 4 1/4 minutes and the gentleman from michigan has 45 seconds. mr. smith: i yield to the gentleman from arizona. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of the stem jobs act. after the past three congresses, i have worked on this issue with the introduction of the staple act, which would do much the same that this bill does, as well as support for other pieces of legislation that do what this piece of legislation does. which is allow those who are trained at our universities here to contribute to the u.s. economy. we all know that it's not government that creates jobs, the job of government is to enable the private sector to create jobs. i can think of no better wathan
to allow the private sector -- way than to allow the private sector access to those who have been trained at our universities to stay here and help create jobs. this is a good piece of legislation. it's one of the few pieces of immigration legislation that has bipartisan support. i urge its adoption and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from -- does the gentleman from michigan wish to reserve his 0 seconds to close? mr. conyers: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: i yield to the gentleman from california, mr. royce, who is also chairman of the foreign affairs terrorism subcommittee. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support the stems job act. it is time to alter the current immigration system, it is time to substantially increase the proportion of new entrants with high levels of education and skills. today we are educating many of
the best and brightest from around the world and then ironically we're sending them back to work for our competitors. and this makes no sense. skilled immigrants can contribute to a rising u.s. standard of living. they bring capital, they bring ideas. and they produce new companies. and with this bill we can help grow innovation, we can create jobs in the u.s., we've got plenty of examples of i.t. firms in california that are founded by immigrants from china and india, that were educated in our institutions. let's pass this bill and help our economy grow and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield 45 seconds to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. altmire, who is a member of the education and work force committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. altmire: mr. speaker, while i would have preferred the lofgren approach, i rise in support of the stem jobs act because it's critical to keeping america competitive in the global economy. the united states has the best institutions of higher education in the world, particularly when it comes to the stem fields. yet u.s. businesses frequently express concerns over the availability of qualified
workers to perform jobs that are available and need to be filled once we educate and train these students for jobs, we send them back to their home countries to compete against us. this simply makes no sense. and by passing this bill we will help ensure that the best and brightest in the world aren't working for our competitors abroad, but that america keeps that talent here at home and they play on our team instead of competing against us. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas has 1 3/4 minutes remaining. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i will yield one minute to the gentleman from california, mr. lungren, who is the chairman of the house administration committee, and a senior member of the judiciary committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: let's remember where we are. up until 1965, we had a quota system that essentially gave advantages to certain countries to get their people in here versus others. we removed that in 1965, went
to a worldwide quota system based on the fact that everyone in the world would have an equal opportunity to get to the united states based on their talent and reason for coming here. but in 1981, there was a cry that we weren't getting enough irish people in here. so tip o'neill -- i was here on the floor. tip o'neill and ted kennedy put together a diversity program. and it passed and only the irish knew about it. then we changed it and let only certain countries in. we're going back to a country quota system. i would say that most african-american immigrants to the u.s. don't come from the diversity program. just 3,000 from nigh jeer alone
would be able to participate in this. the speaker pro tempore: we're at 30 seconds and 45 seconds. mr. conyers: i yield the balance of our time our our side to the distinguished gentlelady from california, zoe lofgren. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. ms. lofgren: this is a disappointing day at a time when we look for leadership on the part of the majority to bring us together, instead we have a part season bill before us. we have 54 co-sponsors on the bill that we've introduced, the remarkable thing is that we have support across the entire breadth of the democratic caucus for stem visas. these things that have been said about the diversity visa today are simply wrong. they remind me of the warnings we got a short while ago about the terror babies who would somehow emerge after 21 years. it's absurd. we need to vote against this bill but i think we can quickly
reconvene and get to the bipartisan effort that this country deserves. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: all time has expired. the gentleman from texas has 45 seconds. mr. smith: i yield myself the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, the stems jobs act boosts economic growth and spurs job creation by enabling american employers to hire the best and brightest foreign students who graduate from american universitys. the american public, american employers, and the high tech community all support this bipartisan piece of legislation. i urge my colleagues to vote for jobs, vote for innovation and vote for economic growth. let's put the interests of america first. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. all time has expire the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h r. 6429. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3's of those being in the
affirmative -- the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will now resume on questions previously postponed. votes will be taken in the following order. passage of house joint resolution 118. the motion to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 6429. and the motion to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 5987. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes listen conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is the vote on the passage of house joint resolution 118 on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the title
of the joint resolution. the clerk: union calendar number 489, house joint resolution 118. res. losing -- resolution providing for the congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, united states code, of the rule submitted by the office of family assistance of the administration for children and families of the department of health and human services relating to waiver and expenditure authority under section 1115 of the social security act 42 u.s.c. 1315 with respect to the temporary assistance for needy families program. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the resolution. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote, followed by two five-minute votes. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]